The Nationals are set to deliver on a key election commitment, with the Australian dairy industry’s mandatory code of conduct to come into effect on 1 January 2020, months ahead of schedule.
NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey said the mandatory code is the result of more than three years of work undertaken by the Nationals in government, and acknowledged the role the dairy industry has had in its development.
“Dairy is Australia’s third largest rural industry and is a particularly important industry in my home state of NSW, where dairy farms – 98 per cent of which are family owned and operated – are located on both the north and south coasts, as well as in the Riverina-Murray, Hunter Valley and Northern Tablelands regions,” Senator Davey said.
“The Nationals have been working hard to increase fairness and transparency in the industry, and in 2016, we commissioned an ACCC inquiry into the competitiveness of prices, trading practices and the supply chain in the dairy sector,” she said.
“The ACCC recommended in its final report that a mandatory code of conduct be introduced to address the market failures it had identified in the industry, and we have been working closely with the industry to develop a mandatory code which provides clear safeguards outlining how farmers are treated as members of the supply chain.
“Ahead of the code’s formal introduction on 1 January next year, the dairy industry is on notice to make sure that the contracts offered to farmers are appropriate and fair.”
Senator Davey encouraged those in the NSW dairy sector to have their say on the draft mandatory code, which will be released for feedback for a four-week period ahead of its introduction in 2020.
“I’m looking forward to the release of the exposure code later this week, and I encourage dairy farmers from all corners of NSW to review and provide feedback on the code,” she said.
For further information about the dairy industry mandatory code of conduct, visit the Department of Agriculture’s Have Your Say consultation site at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/.